The statute of limitations for Securities Fraud is five years. Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat. Ann. art. 581-29-1. This limitations period starts to accrue from the date that the defendant and the complainant enter into an agreement to sell or transfer the relevant securities. Villareal v. State, 504 S.W.3d 494, 512-513 (Tex. App. – Corpus Christi – Edinburg 2016, pet. ref.d).
The statute of limitations acts to insulate “individuals from criminal prosecution after the passage of an express period of time following the commission of an offense.” Proctor v. State, 967 S.W.2d 840, 843 (Tex. Crim. App. 1998). The statute of limitations serves the following objectives:
- It protects defendants from having to defend themselves against charges when the basic facts may – or may not – have become obscured by time;
- It prevents prosecution of those who have been law-abiding for some years; and
- It lessens the possibility of blackmail.
The defendant may assert a statute of limitations defense at trial if there is any evidence, from any source, that the prosecution is limitations barred. Id. at 844. When this occurs, “the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the prosecution is not limitations barred.” Id. (emphasis supplied).